Story: Marlborough region

Puhuriwhenua cannon

Puhuriwhenua cannon

This cannon, known as Puhuriwhenua (earth shaker), sits outside the offices of the Marlborough District Council in Blenheim. According to his son, who recounted the story in the Marlborough Daily Times of 16 January 1901, whaler John (Jacky) Guard bought the cannon in Sydney in 1833. He offered it to Nohorua, a relative of Te Rauparaha, as payment for the right to occupy Kākāpō Bay, where Guard was based in the 1830s. At some time when Nohorua was absent, the cannon was stolen by Captain John Blenkinsopp. He gave it to Te Rauparaha in exchange for access to wood and water for his ship, but later claimed that the chief had signed away the Wairau plain in exchange for the cannon. This claim was not upheld by the colonial authorities.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Janine Faulknor

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Marlborough region - Early Europeans', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 December 2023)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, updated 1 Nov 2016